Sri Lanka: Fears of environmental disaster as chemical-laden ship sinks

Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“A chemical-laden cargo ship is sinking off the coast of Sri Lanka, sparking fears of an environmental disaster. The Singapore-registered X-Press Pearl had been on fire for almost two weeks before the blaze was put out this week. Hundreds of tonnes of oil from fuel tanks could leak into the sea, devastating nearby marine life. The Sri Lankan and Indian navies had worked jointly over the past days in an attempt to put out the fire and prevent the ship from breaking up and sinking. But rough seas and monsoonal winds hampered the operation, just outside the port of Colombo. ‘Salvers are trying to tow the ship to deep sea before it sinks to minimise the marine pollution, but the rear area of the ship has drifted,’ Sri Lanka Navy spokesman Captain Indika Silva told the BBC.” (06/02/21)